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Women sent to jail over Facebook drama

Two women were arraigned on cybercrime charges at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, and they now face lengthy jail times and fines amounting to millions of dollars, according to a statement from the law firm of Attorney-at-Law Eusi Anderson.


Appearing before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly on Friday, were Yeola Carmicheal and Atesha Burrowes. The former was charged with the offence of subjecting Ranford Hercules to public ridicule, contempt and embarrassment contrary to Section 19, Cybercrime Act 2018.


She pleaded not guilty to the charge. The statement said Carmichael had threatened to post further images to embarrass and shame Hercules. “She appeared on a Facebook live with a popular Guyanese Facebook personality and doubled down on her allegations,” it added.


The court confiscated her phone and remanded her to prison until her next court appearance which is set for April 26, 2024, Anderson informed.


Further charges are to come against Carmichael for storing photographs and messages on her phone. 


“The court was fearful that she would continue to break the law by posting more if given her pretrial liberty. This offence carries a penalty of 3 years imprisonment with a maximum of 5 years imprisonment with a fine of $5 million dollars,” Anderson’s statement said.


According to the attorney, warrants will be obtained to search her phone whilst it is detained and full access will be granted to password protected storage like cloud-based storage.


The statement continued, “All external storage of the data and images and posts whether on flash drives or other devices will be traced from the metadata of the original phone and they too will form the substance of more charges against Ms Carmichael.”


It said she will have to surrender any posts or images she sent to anyone in Guyana or abroad and charges will be laid against those persons whom she sent the offending messages to.


In respect of Atesha Burrowes, Anderson said she was charged with the “offence of subjecting respectable, popular” Guyanese couple Dr. Judy Bentley-Browne and Pilot and Caribbean Music Producer Joel Browne to public ridicule, contempt, hatred and humiliation.


She was remanded to prison until March 26, 2024.


According to Anderson, she is accused of accusing the couple of plotting to kill and committing several serious crimes including fraud “knowing same to be absolutely false.”


He said Burrowes participated in a Facebook live where these allegations were repeated, noting that spent in excess of 1 hour humiliating and embarrassing Joel and Judy Browne.


“Yeola Carmichael participated in the program in which Atesha Burrowes committed cybercrimes against the Browne family,” Anderson said.


“This offence carries a penalty of 3 years imprisonment with a maximum of 5 years imprisonment with a fine of $5 million dollars. As she is charged with two offences, Ms. Burrowes faces 6 to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of 10 million dollars because she is charged separately for cybercrimes against the husband-and-wife duo.”


Ranford Hercules and the couple are represented by the law firm of Eusi Anderson. The firm is also prosecuting the matter.